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Terminator tops Joker in battle for box office supremacy

Los Angeles

TERMINATOR: Dark Fate opened atop the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated take of US$29 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said on Sunday, but analysts said that figure fell far below expectations.

After all, the sixth and latest instalment in the franchise - reuniting stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton with series creator James Cameron - cost a whopping US$185 million to make. The Paramount film has Sarah Connor (Hamilton) fighting to protect a young girl from a deadly Terminator arrived from the future.

The film may have been hurt by head-to-head competition with dark thriller Joker which, in its fifth week, took in US$13.9 million for the second spot in the Friday-to-Sunday period.

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In third place was Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil at US$12.2 million. The film once again stars Angelina Jolie playing the evil sorceress, and adds Michelle Pfeiffer as the scheming Queen Ingrith.

New biopic Harriet - the story of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and work to help free other slaves - surprised analysts with its fourth-place finish, earning US$12 million. It was a strong showing for a historical drama. The film has garnered a rare A+ CinemaScore rating from audiences, and British star Cynthia Erivo has earned strong reviews for her performance in the title role.

In fifth spot was United Artists' computer-animated The Addams Family at US$8.5 million. The funny/spooky film features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Snoop Dogg and Bette Midler.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Zombieland: Double Tap (US$7.4 million); Countdown (US$5.9 million); Black and Blue (US$4.1 million); Motherless Brooklyn (US$3.7 million); and Arctic Dogs (US$3.1 million). AFP